Good-touch-bad-touch, protecting the environment, the importance of school education for girls, the need to use masks and sanitisers to protect against Covid-19 — these were among the topics on which six middle school students of Delhi government schools created animated videos using coding skills they picked up over the last few months.
The six girls were among 1,000 who had been enrolled into a coding programme for girl students, ‘She Codes’, initiated by the Delhi government in January. On Thursday, Education Minister Manish Sisodia announced his plan to expand the programme to as many students of Delhi government schools as possible.
“These are things missing in our education system… Our teachers work very hard but things connected with the future and technology are missing. How can we prepare our children for a future hi-tech world? It is necessary to prepare them now… We will gradually start teaching all children in all our schools how to code even though it will take some time. Very few of these children are likely to have computers at home and their interaction with technological programmes might be limited to things like YouTube and WhatsApp,” he said.
Though the programme had begun with 1,000 girls, it ran into an obstacle with the nationwide lockdown. After that, the programme went online with 870 girls who had smartphones and internet connections at home, where they learnt how to make animated videos using Scratch, a block-based visual programming language and website.
This limitation was even pointed out by Hena, a class VII student from Madangir, who had created a video on ‘good-touch-bad-touch’. “We could do it but there are many children who do not have these kinds of phones. It would be very good for other children if you could help out with this,” she said, adding that she wants to be a software engineer.
Rupinder Kaur, founder of She Codes, said from October, the same set of girls will be taught loops and logics of coding, and the organisation would be providing 30 GB internet data free of cost to them for the purpose.
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